Are YOU ready to spend time doing more of what you love AND make money as well? Between the ages of 35 – 64? Then you must read this article.
A BIG Midlife Career Change Idea should usher you into more of what you enjoy. Why, you ask? Because when we do what we enjoy, it enhances our overall well being.
Martin P. Seligman dubbed “the father of positive psychology” in one of his best selling books – Flourish (A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being) discusses the PERMA model. This model essentially measures well-being via each of the following five factors:
- Positive Emotion (of which happiness and life satisfaction are all aspects)
Would you like a career that excites your very being, makes you smile for no reason, gives you a ton of energy AND makes a positive difference in the lives of others? A Midlife Career Change Idea could enhance all 5 factors for YOU. Mindfully Make The Switch.
Opportunities to do what you enjoy and make money abounds. Have you started searching? You can tap into a source of creativity to spark your own. You will find what you seek. Read on for more.
In this article, we will essentially look at 5 BIG IDEAS that you can consider as you explore your Career Change.
Are You Showing Signs Of Readiness For A Midlife Career Change? It looks like:
- You would rather do more of what you enjoy.
- You want to spend more time building key relationships in your life.
- You’ve dreamed of doing a particular thing for years and it is still on your bucket list.
- You want to feel time stand still as you lose yourself in doing what you love.
- You want to positively contribute to something bigger.
If you whispered or shouted YES to any of the above statements, you are ready to embrace 1 or more of the 5 BIG Midlife Career Change Ideas. Once engaged thoughtfully with our 3-step process below, you can find an idea that works best for you, and propels your well-being beyond any monochrome existence!
GET READY to walk past many of the limits that once held you captive and live life more on your own terms!
Okay, let’s answer some of those who think a Midlife Career Change is a CRISIS. I know that’s not you, but for good measure, here is a short video on how to Avoid Social Identity Confusion.
START HERE TO BEGIN YOUR CAREER CHANGE
- STEP 1 – MAP It (Experiences, Values and Enjoyment)
- STEP 2 – CHOOSE YOUR Creative Considerations (Noted laws plus 5 career change ideas to consider)
- STEP 3 – TAKE Decisive Action
STEP 1: MAP It – Please apply brainstorming rule #1 i.e., when performing this exercise – WITHHOLD JUDGEMENT. Take note of all the things you have done thus far from 3 perspectives:
- Direct experience (you performed it and know how to repeat all tasks involved on your own)
- Observation (read, seen, listened to a walk through media or partnered with experts etc.)
- Dreams (you’ve visualized yourself performing some or all of your desired experiences (yes… dreams count:-))
A. After you’ve spent some time documenting all of your Experiences with the different perspectives above, give it a rest and repeat the exercise. Repeat the exercise for about 2-3 times. This helps to bring many experiences to the fore. Even a paper-route you did at 10 years old is noteworthy for this exercise.
Next up, for each job, list the tasks or projects that you really enjoyed and what made them enjoyable for you. DO the same for all the jobs and tasks you’ve dreamed of doing as well. Once you covered all 3 perspectives, you can move on to B.
B. Create two keys (#1) for jobs/tasks you had more than 12-24 months experience before you first started and (#2) jobs/tasks you had less than 12 months experience before you began. Attach the appropriate key to each job/task completed in A.
C. List all the Values you embrace as important and those you wish you had more of. At the side of each stated value, add the context for which they have or might serve you best. For example, new tasks, working with others, brainstorming, when under pressure, uncertainty etc. Next, add the relevance of each value to date. Lastly, looking at your answers of the jobs/tasks you enjoyed the most, assess which listed values can provide the most support to you as you go forward.
D. Enjoys – what makes you happy? List it ALL and please resist the temptation to judge yourself and whether it would fit into an existing or new career. While you might have already started documenting the things you enjoy. Look beyond those and see what else might make the list.
You are not alone in making a Midlife Career Change, below are the names of 10 ‘famous’ people that did exactly what you are contemplating – made a Midlife Career Change:
- Michael Bloomberg – Mayor of New York City at 59 (2002)
- Vera Wang – Entered the fashion industry at 40
- Ronald Reagan – became the 40th President of the USA at 69
- Arnold Schwarzenegger – Governor of California at 56 (2003)
- Harland Sanders (better known as Colonel Sanders) – Franchised Kentucky Fried Chicken at 62
- Joy Behar – pursued her dream for comedy in her late 30’s
- Ray Kroc – bought McDonald’s at age 52
- Donald Fisher – opened first GAP store at age 40
- Taikichiro Mori – Founded Mori Building Company at age 51 (richest man in the world in 1992 with $13 billion
- Anna Mary Robertson Moses – (better known as Grandma Moses) began her painting career at 78 (one of her paintings sold for $1.2 million)
As you can see, they all switched careers after 35 and a couple after 64! We’re in good company, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.
STEP 2 – CHOOSE Your Creative Considerations – Before you go any further, please take a look at the 2 simple truths for creative considerations:
- There is a creative space for each of us – just know that.
- Any idea is worth exploring further.
The Story of Gary Dahl’s Pet Rocks
Be patient, if at first your creativity seems on the dry side:-). To relax and stimulate your creativity, put aside the thought about the idea(s) for a moment and try one or more of the below exercises or anything else that relaxes you and turns on your creativity:
- Listen to music you love (joy get’s us to become thought free and glide into a ‘flow’ of creativity)
- Meditate (stillness opens up our creativity)
- Take a walk, go out in nature (watching nature stimulates our creative juices)
5 BIG Ideas – Midlife Career Change
- Missing – What is an existing or emerging problem that is either going unaddressed or needs more resolve in the world, your country, your state, your community?
- Next – Think of life and the diversity of our collective needs/wants in the world, country, state, community. What are next level solutions e.g., post Covid-19 in the lives of children, pets, the way we play, work, study, parent, care for the elderly, the environment, home, how and what we eat etc.
- Hobbies – Look at all of your hobbies (current and those you will enjoy starting), which one could be a niche idea to bring resolve to make life easier for others (remember it is bringing joy to you and could do the same for others)?
- Expand – Take a current idea for a product or service and make it better. Look at the products and services that you have a high interest in. What would make that product or service better in terms of its function, saleability, marketing etc,.
- Copy – Take a good idea and imitate it. Imitations are found in almost every industry. There is a lot of room left for many more. And what you enjoy doing might be a good fit for working on your own or with others to develop a product or services that offers customers greater choice.
STEP 3 – Take Decisive Action – Making informed decisions on any of the 5 BIG Ideas that you wish to pursue, will require the idea being filtered through a couple of gates that will help you to assess the idea’s:
- Launch and Life Cycle Planning Context – (Resource, Budget, Risks and Marketing )
The strength of your decision-making lies in completing this part of the process. Each gate is intended to help you decide on your immediate next step.
Gate A – Research
Research is critical. Whatever your final decision, will largely stem from the data you receive through your research of the idea. Viability – A couple factors play into viability for example, originality, expansion of an idea, current market saturation levels, intuition, timing and niche within a currently vibrant market.
To determine insights into the market you can look for a local or online service that provides the same. Online feature articles from credible business sources are also helpful. Depending on your use of social media, you can put out a survey, check in-house experts at your Better Business Bureau, Chambers of Commerce, Foreign Missions etc. Your success with depend on your level of preparation, so be thorough here. When you have all the data, map it out and look at it from different angles to see what is emerging for you.
Gate B – Full Plans that are modular in make up.
Consider the ways to build your business in smaller, more manageable phases that support practicality. It is always better to under-promise and over-deliver when just starting out. You want to be ahead of your growth curve not behind it. Ahead is joy, behind could invite more stress than is advisable for your well-being.
Another best is in detailed planning. This exercise will help you appreciate the key moving parts of your business and the skills that will play a key role for your starting lineup. Planning is critical, plans can change and you want to be flexible to the changes and opportunities that will likely come hitched with those changes.
Decide what results levels will warrant critical or important tweaks. You will also need to decide what results are acceptable for consistent health of your business. The consistency in the results should help you more easily assess your next move. You’ll want to review the research data again, double dip to test for any new and significant developments that may impact your launch. By now you are realizing that the process is iterative.
Even after you launch, the process of researching will help you to look at the business with ‘fresh eyes’.
Gate C – Giving More than You Get
How can you build your product or service in a way that allows you to give more value over time or when you hit the ground running? Customers have a lot of choices these days and are more apt to become loyal where they get more value.
It also makes for outstanding marketing copy when Customers know what to expect from you. It bridges the distance between you and a potential customer from a wide ‘strangers’ space to a closer ‘friend’ space. When developing your plans, you will want to review the research data to determine where and the options for how and when you could give more.
The good news is that when you are doing what you enjoy, it’s a no-brainer, to creatively ‘see’ the many ways to support the customers and potential customers. Giving more than you get is an important value for you and your customer’s well-being.
The CROSS ROADS
NOW – you get to bring all the data from Steps 1 – 3 into a big story. You can create a storyboard on a clean wall or a white space on an online storyboard. Essentially, you want to map out the summary of what you’ve discovered.
Is This Something You’re Ready For?
- That’s easy to determine because we took a brief look at the value of Positive Psychology and its overall effect on your well-being.
- We also looked at ways of gaining the insight you need to make the most informed decision today.
- Timing is only ‘perfect’ as we act. NOW is the most powerful time – yesterday is gone and tomorrow is not yet here.
A GENTLE REMNDER – Whatever you choose as your next Career Change as a Midlifer should positively impact one or more of the following 5 factors for your well-being:
- Positive Emotion (of which happiness and life satisfaction are all aspects)
Stimulate one or more of the same factors for your customers and potential customers!
While most of this article targeted Midlifers considering a new business, it can be easily applied to Midlifers who want to give their value on a team where YOU can contribute all of YOUR energy to serving in an even bigger space. You have the POWER. The Choice Is YOURS.
As A Midlifer, I found a great opportunity to follow one of my passions and build an online business at Wealthy Affiliate. You can check it out here:
Please let me know which idea feels most suited to YOU in the comment box below. Stay safe.